Preparation of 26Al, 59Ni, 44Ti, 53Mn and 60Fe from a proton irradiated copper beam dump
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The station for pions cancer therapy was operated at PSI from 1980 to 1992. After a cooling time of 12 years it’s made of copper beam dump was cut and samples were taken for analytical purposes. The sampling collected about 500 g of high active copper chips that can be used for separation of exotic radionuclides. The analyses by gamma spectrometry, LSC and AMS showed main nuclides present to be 60Co, 54Mn, 22Na, 65Zn, 26Al, 53Mn, 59Ni, 63Ni, 55Fe and 60Fe and 44Ti with a daughter nuclide 44Sc. In the frame of ERAWAST project a procedure combining selective precipitation and ion exchange for the separation of the rare radionuclides from the copper beam dump was developed. The proposed separation procedure is easy for remote controlled implementation in a hot cell. The ion exchange separation of Ni, Al, Mg, Ti and Fe was complete and high decontamination factors for copper and cobalt were achieved. Based on the developed procedure a remotely controlled system for separation of exotic radionuclides from the copper chips was set up. The full scale system was installed in a hot cell where high activity levels can be handled. In order to evaluate the reliability and functionality of the system extensive tests have been done. During the test period 13.86 g in total of the proton irradiated copper beam dump were processed for separation of 26Al, 59Ni, 53Mn, 44Ti and 60Fe. The results showed that the system was operational and the radionuclide separation was selective with high chemical yield. The procedure manages as well the generated liquid wastes containing high level of 60Co activity.
KeywordsERAWAST Copper beam dump Exotic radionuclides
The authors would like to express their gratitude to Dave Piguet for his valuable technical support.
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